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Strength Properties of Poled Lead Zirconate Titanate Subjected to Biaxial Flexural Loading in High Electric Field

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The mechanical strength of poled lead zirconate titanate (PZT) has been studied using ball-on-ring (BoR) biaxial flexure tests with a high electric field applied concurrently. Both the as-received and the aged PZT specimens were tested. The Weibull plot and a 95% confidence ratio ring were used to characterize the responses of mechanical strength under various electric loading conditions. A fractographical study has been conducted at the same time, and the fracture origins or strength-limiting flaws of tested PZT specimens have been identified and characterized accordingly. The fracture toughness was further estimated to correlate with the obtained fracture stresses and flaws. It has been observed that electric field affects the mechanical strength of poled PZT, and the degree of the effect depends on the sign and magnitude of the applied electric field. Within the examined electric field range of −3 to +3 times the coercive field, an increasing electric field resulted in a rapid strength decrease and a sharp increase with the turning point around the negative coercive field. Surface-located volume-distributed flaws were identified to be strength limiting for this PZT material. Variations of the mechanical strength with the electric field were believed to be related to the domain switching and amount of switchable domains. An aging effect on the mechanical strength of poled PZT could be significant, especially in the OC condition. These results and observations have the potential to serve probabilistic reliability analysis and design optimization of multilayer PZT piezo actuators.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Materials Science and Technology Division, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831

Publication date: 01 September 2010

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